Leeds & West Yorkshire

Wakefield museum hosts miners' strike anniversary exhibition

Under The Skin by Yvette Vanson Image copyright Yvette Vanson
Image caption The exhibition at the National Coal Mining Museum for England runs until 26 April

A new exhibition to mark the 30th anniversary of the end of the miners' strike has opened.

Work by artist Yvette Vanson will go on show at The National Coal Mining Museum for England, near Wakefield.

The strike, which ran from 5 March 1984 to 3 March 1985, saw tens of thousands of miners walk out in protest at plans to close scores of pits.

A museum spokesperson said the exhibition was intended to "celebrate miners globally".

Gwendolen Whitaker from the museum said the exhibition was "a powerful insight into the real lives of mining communities".

Battle of wills

The exhibition will also screen Ms Vanson's film The Battle for Orgreave.

On 18 June 1984, British Steel's coking plant at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, saw some of the worst violence.

About 10,000 striking miners clashed with 5,000 police officers, which led to 93 picketers being arrested with 51 picketers and 72 police officers injured, according to South Yorkshire Police.

In 1984 there were 170 working collieries in Britain, employing about 190,000 people.

Now just three deep mines remain, employing about 2,000 people

Two of those mines, Kellingley in Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire, are due to close, leaving just the employee-owned Hatfield Colliery in South Yorkshire.

Image copyright Yvette Vanson
Image caption The exhibition has been described as a celebration of miners globally

The National Coal Mining Museum is at Caphouse Colliery, where shafts to work coal date from at least 1789.

By 1985 the colliery's coal was exhausted. It opened as a museum in 1988 and was granted national status in 1995.

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